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Kernel: Keeping Control in the Hands of the User and KUnit

  • Keeping Control in the Hands of the User
    Various efforts always are underway to implement Secure Boot and to add features that will allow vendors to lock users out of controlling their own systems. In that scenario, users would look helplessly on while their systems refused to boot any kernels but those controlled by the vendors. The vendors' motivation is clear—if they control the kernel, they can then stream media on that computer without risking copyright infringement by the user. If the vendor doesn't control the system, the user might always have some secret piece of software ready to catch and store any streamed media that could then be shared with others who would not pay the media company for the privilege. Recently, Chen Yu and other developers tried to submit patches to enhance Secure Boot so that when the user hibernated the system, the kernel itself would encrypt its running image. This would appear to be completely unnecessary, since as Pavel Machek pointed out, there is already uswsusp (userspace software suspend), which encrypts the running image before suspending the system. As Pavel said, the only difference was that uswusp ran in userspace and not kernel space.
  • Google Engineer Proposes KUnit As New Linux Kernel Unit Testing Framework
    Google engineer Brendan Higgins sent out an experimental set of 31 patches today introducing KUnit as a new Linux kernel unit testing framework to help preserve and improve the quality of the kernel's code. KUnit is a unit testing framework designed for the Linux kernel and inspired by the well known JUnit as well as Googletest and other existing unit testing frameworks for designing unit tests and related functionality.

DragonFlyBSD Continues Squeezing More Performance Out Of AMD's Threadripper 2990WX

DragonFlyBSD 5.4 should be a really great release if you are a BSD user and have an AMD Threadripper 2 box, particularly the flagship Threadripper 2990WX 32-core / 64-thread processor. The project leader of this long ago fork from FreeBSD, Matthew Dillon, has been quite outspoken about the Threadripper 2990WX since he purchased one earlier this summer. This prolific BSD developer has been praising the performance out of the Threadripper 2990WX since he got the system working on the current DragonFlyBSD 5.3 development builds. Since getting DragonFlyBSD running on the Threadripper 2 hardware in August, he's routinely been making performance tuning optimizations to DragonFly's kernel to benefit the 2990WX given its NUMA design. Read more

Arm Launches Mbed Linux and Extends Pelion IoT Service

Politics and international relations may be fraught with acrimony these days, but the tech world seems a bit friendlier of late. Last week Microsoft joined the Open Invention Network and agreed to grant a royalty-free, unrestricted license of its 60,000-patent portfolio to other OIN members, thereby enabling Android and Linux device manufacturers to avoid exorbitant patent payments. This week, Arm and Intel kept up the happy talk by agreeing to a partnership involving IoT device provisioning. Arm’s recently announced Pelion IoT Platform will align with Intel’s Secure Device Onboard (SDO) provisioning technology to make it easier for IoT vendors and customers to onboard both x86 and Arm-based devices using a common Peleon platform. Arm also announced Pelion related partnerships with myDevices and Arduino (see farther below). Read more

Programming: Version Control With Git, 5 Things Your Team Should Do to Make Pull Requests Less Painful and More GitHub Workflow Automation

  • How to Use Git Version Control System in Linux [Comprehensive Guide]
    Version Control (revision control or source control) is a way of recording changes to a file or collection of files over time so that you can recall specific versions later. A version control system (or VCS in short) is a tool that records changes to files on a filesystem. There are many version control systems out there, but Git is currently the most popular and frequently used, especially for source code management. Version control can actually be used for nearly any type of file on a computer, not only source code.
  • 5 Things Your Team Should Do to Make Pull Requests Less Painful
    A user story is a short description of a unit of work that needs doing. It’s normally told from the perspective of the user, hence the name. The journey towards a good pull request starts with a well-written user story. It should be scoped to a single thing that a user can do in the system being built.
  • More GitHub workflow automation
    The more you use computers, the more you see the potentials for automating everything. Who doesn't love that? By building Mergify those last months, we've decided it was time bring more automation to the development workflow.